So you have gone through the long process of obtaining an EHCP. The EHCP arrives and you are not satisfied with it. Richard Nelson LLP’s specialist solicitors can provide help and advice during the next steps.
Before you decide whether or not you’re happy with your child’s plan, it’s helpful to know what the EHCP should contain:
- Section A – views,interests and aspirations of child and their parents or young person.
- Section B- the child or young persons special educational needs – ALL of their SEN must be included
- Section C- Health Care needs which relate to the child or young person’s special educational needs
- Section E – Outcomes sought for the child or young person, these are the intended result of the provision which is being put in place.
- Section F – The Special Educational Provision required by the child or young person
- Section G – Health Care Provision-Reg 12 requires that the EHC plan must specify any health needs identified through the EHC needs assessment which relate to the child or young person’s SEN. Some health care needs, such as routine dental health needs, are unlikely to be related (paragraph 9.69 of the Code).
- Section H – Social Care Provision
- Section I – Placement Section J – Where there is a personal budget, the details of this and the outcomes it should support.
- Section K – A list of the advice and information gathered during the assessment.
The law does not prescribe any particular format and therefore every LA has a different template they follow, although each EHCP should contain all of the above sections.
Two common problems with EHCPs are that they often do not fully describe all of the child’s or young person’s special educational needs (Section B) and the provision (Section F) stated in the plan is vague and not specific and quantified. It is a legal requirement that all of the child’s special eduational needs are described in the EHCP and that provision in section F is detailed, specific and quantified. Additionally, it may not name the school you want (Section I).
If you are not happy with the final EHCP, you have the right to appeal Sections B, F and I.
We can advise you on your right to appeal and prepare your appeal on your behalf.
Appealing the EHCP
If you are not happy with your child’s EHCP or the way that the the application progress was handled, you may be able to make an appeal. Richard Nelson LLP’s solicitors can help you to work out if you have the grounds for an appeal and how to give your appeal the best chance of success.
You can appeal against the following:
- The refusal of an EHC needs assessment following a request;
- Refusal to issue an EHCP following a needs assessment;
- Refusal to reassess, if the LA has not made an assessment for at least 6 months;
- Sections B, F and/or I of an EHCP;
- Decision to stop maintaining an EHCP;
- Decision not to replace or amend the EHCP following a review.
How to Make an Appeal
You must receive a decision letter from your Local Authority stating that they refuse to assess, refuse to issue, refuse to reassess, refuse to maintain or replace or amend an EHCP or a letter enclosing a final EHCP.
You have two months from the date of the decision letter to appeal or 30 days from the mediation certificate, whichever is later.
It is a requirement before making an appeal that you have considered mediation. You must obtain a mediation certificate that has to be submitted with your appeal. The only exception where a mediation certificate is not needed is when you are appealing the placement only.
Who can appeal?
Parents can appeal on behalf of a child under compulsory school age. Young people over compulsory school age can bring appeals in their own right if they have mental capacity. They can authorise parents to deal with on their behalf should they so wish. If the young person does not have capacity than his/her parent can conduct the appeal.
Starting the appeal process
You need to complete an appeal form that can be obtained from SENDIST. You can also attach a document to the form giving your detailed grounds of appeal.
Evidence to use in support of your appeal:
– Relevant medical reports
– Expert reports- Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy and Educational Psychologist.
– IEP’s / Provision Maps
– Samples of school work
– Relevant correspondence between you and school
– Recent annual review reports
– Offer of place from your preferred school and a report setting out how that school can meet your child’s needs.
– Week 0: Registration of appeal
– Week 6: LA Response
– Week 8 : Final Evidence Deadline
– Week 9: Bundle Deadline and attendance forms
– Week 12: Hearing (Richard Nelson LLP’s solicitors can represent you)
– Week 14: Decision.
If you are considering making an EHCP appeal, our specialist SEN solicitors can prepare all the documents for your appeal and represent you at the Tribunal. Get in touch discuss a fixed fee appeal package.
Our multidisciplinary team is made up of specialists in a wide range of services, which means you'll always be represented by an expert in your area.
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